Every week I see you at church and smile. I will smile at people this Sunday. I magnify my calling, sing the hymns, and take the sacrament with a broken heart. I love my ward. At church I find family, friends, support, and love. You know me as a mother of many who has served in nearly every women's calling. I do my visiting teaching, serve funeral dinners, and try not to gossip.
What I never do at church is show my doubt, my questions, or my fears. Despite the support and love I feel from my fellow saints, deep down I know that if you or my brothers and sisters at church knew how I fight for my faith each day I would be rejected. If I asked the questions that trouble my heart and break my spirit I would be seen as a sinner. Only sinners have time to doubt, or question. When I had no one to trust John Dehlin produced podcast with Teryl Givens, Richard Bushman, Kate Kelly, and other believers and rescued my faith. When my mother's heart broke when my daughters were labeled immodest for running in track shorts, Kate Kelly bravely spoke out when I feared losing my community.
My church may think they need to keep doctrine pure and quash dissent. You should know that cowards like me sit in your pews on Sunday and break a little each week. We believe in Christ, we don't know where else to find him. We have felt the Holy Ghost touch our hearts and fill us with light, but our hopes for more light dimmed today. The light is fading. My church has become a church of conformity instead of freedom. The traditional family, word of wisdom, modesty, and For the Strength of Youth, have replaced the stories of Jesus I learned in primary. Sometimes I never hear of my Savior except during the sacrament.
I want you to know I am here. The treatment of John and Kate fills my heart with fear and distrust. I don't know where to turn for peace. I am Thomas, I am Mary and Martha, I am the man who pleads for help though my unbelief. I am in your ward. I am mute. I am learning that I must ache in silence.